Today’s Daily’s Seed wished each of our Twitter followers a Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary….but what exactly is a solemnity? As Catholics (and as has been discussed before on this blog) we’re big into parties. We even have different kinds of parties. Here’s the difference (as taken from this very helpful article):
Feast–Often used as a catchall phrase for important days of the church, a Feast also has a more precise definition: “A feast honors a mystery or title of the Lord, of Our Lady, or of saints of particular importance (such as the apostles and Evangelists) and some of historical importance such as the deacon St. Lawrence.”
Solemnity–(pl. “solemnities”) “Solemnities are the highest degree and are usually reserved for the most important mysteries of faith. These include Easter, Pentecost and the Immaculate Conception; the principal titles of Our Lord, such as King and Sacred Heart; and celebrations that honor some saints of particular importance in salvation history, such as Sts. Peter and Paul, and St. John the Baptist on his day of birth.”
Memorial–“A memorial is usually of saints but may also celebrate some aspect of the Lord or of Mary. Examples include the optional memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus or the obligatory memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
There are also some practical liturgical differences between feasts, solemnities and memorials, so be sure to click the link above for the full article, which really is helpful.